Take action to deal with excess condensation in your RV

Almost anywhere you travel in the winter months can mean dealing with colder temperatures, at least overnight if not during the day. That means dealing with condensation in your RV. Those water droplets on your windows, walls, and and belongings can be more than just an annoyance. They can lead to mold, mildew, and even structural damage.

Don’t let condensation put a damper on your RV adventures!

What is Condensation?

Condensation is the formation of water droplets when warm, moist air comes into contact with a cold surface. In your RV, this can happen due to:

  • Temperature differences: Cooking, showering, and breathing add moisture to the air. When this warm, moist air hits cold windows, walls, or ceilings, it condenses into water droplets.
  • Weather: Camping in cold or humid weather can exacerbate condensation, especially if your RV isn’t well-insulated.
  • Poor ventilation: Without proper ventilation, moisture gets trapped inside your RV, creating a perfect breeding ground for condensation.

Why is Condensation Bad?

More than just an aesthetic nuisance, condensation can cause serious problems:

  • Mold and mildew: These thrive in damp environments, leading to unpleasant odors, respiratory issues, and even structural damage.
  • Rot and decay: Wood, fabrics, and even metal can rot or rust due to prolonged exposure to moisture.
  • Allergic reactions: Mold spores and dust mites can trigger allergies and asthma.

Conquering Condensation

Here are some practical ways to combat condensation in your RV:

  • Ventilation is vital: Open windows and vents whenever possible, especially during cooking, showering, and sleeping. Run exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to remove moisture. (This also helps keep fresh air moving through your rig to offset the carbon monoxide build up from your propane furnace.)
  • Warm things up: Keeping the interior temperature slightly above the dew point (the temperature at which condensation forms) can significantly reduce condensation. This might mean using a space heater or running the furnace more regularly.)
  • Insulate your windows: Adding thermal curtains or reflective window covers can help keep the cold air at bay and prevent condensation on windows. (In some cases, however, we have found that the air trapped between the curtains and windows can actually lead to more condensation.)
  • Dry it out: Use a squeegee or towel to remove excess moisture from surfaces after showering or cooking. Also wipe the condensation off of your windows before it runs down into the wall.) Consider using moisture absorbers like dehumidifiers or silica gel packets. (We have found that these Eva-Dry dehumidifiers help, plus they don’t require any energy other than plugging them in periodically to dry out and refresh the beads. We have several around our Airstream.)
  • Regular maintenance: Check for leaks around windows, doors, and plumbing fixtures. One quick tip for finding air leaks quickly: at night, turn on all your indoor lights and take a walk around the outside. If you see light coming out through any openings, you can bet air is leaking out, too.
  • Check your campsite: Ensure proper drainage around your RV to prevent moisture buildup.

Living a Dry and Happy RV Life

By understanding the causes and consequences of condensation and implementing these simple prevention strategies, you can keep your RV drier and ready for countless adventures.

Remember, a little vigilance goes a long way in keeping your rolling home happy and healthy! We also have a blog post with some handy tips and tricks for RVing in the winter.

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